ROMANCE

Ready or Not

Dial Pr. Trade Paperback Feb. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9780593595718. pap. $18. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Eve Hatch is surprised by her positive pregnancy test. Complicating matters, it’s the product of a one-night stand, and she doesn’t even know the guy’s last name. Suddenly overwhelmed with hormones and big life changes, Eve finds herself relying more and more on her best friend’s older brother, Shep Balder. Navigating the world of pregnancy and a baby-daddy who has his own life and troubles, Shep and Eve manage to find their own little moments of calm and happiness together. And just maybe, they might realize that what they have is more than a friendship and could be a happy-ever-after. In this contemporary rom-com, the story jumps right into the action, and even readers who don’t like the surprise-pregnancy trope will find themselves glued to the page for more of Eve’s snark and sense of humor. Shep’s “golden retriever” energy is a lovely foil to Eve’s quips, and the connection between the two is electrifying.
VERDICT Bastone’s (Flirting with Forever) friends-to-lovers romance is a recommended purchase, especially where rom-coms are popular.
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